Today in Racing History is an occasional feature focusing on some of racing history’s interesting, important, or unusual events.

by Richard Hackerman

March 2, 1983

Some may imagine that Port Conway Lane is a picturesque seaside locale.  But those in the know knew that on March 2, 1983, the racehorse Port Conway Lane would  make one of his 242 career starts a winning one in the 7th race at Penn National.   Oddly, it was the second time in his career that the gelding won in the seventh race on March 2; four years earlier to the day Port Conway Lane had won the 7th race at Bowie.  Those were just two of  Port Conway Lane’s 52 winning efforts, to go along with 39 second-place finishes and 36 thirds.  Port Conway Lane had career earnings of  $431,593.00.

Port Conway Lane’s final win came on June 6, 1983 at Pimlico.  He retired later that year, 12 years after making his debut.

Port Conway Lane was purchased in 1970 for a mere $7,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale in 1970.  From those modest beginnings, the gelded son of Bold Commander became a multiple stakes winner including winning the City of Baltimore Handicap at Pimlico in two consecutive years.  Port Conway Lane earned paychecks at 17 different tracks, including victories at Pimlico, Laurel, Bowie, Timonium, Penn National , Delaware Park, Keystone (now Parx), Calder and Monmouth.  His trainers included Marvin Kuhn and King Leatherbury, each having claimed Port Conway Lane 3 times.   He was claimed 10 times.  He raced for 13 different owners.  Port Conway Lane raced from age 2 to 14.

Along the way, Port Conway Lane became a true mid-Atlantic legend.  At the close of his career, the New York Times reported, he was “warmly cheered” as he was paraded before the crowd at Laurel Park.

He was claimed the final time by Marvin Kuhn who graciously retired the old warrior to his farm.

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SOURCES

  1. A case of rare vintage Port,” Sports Illustrated, February 14, 1983
  2. Gelding retired after 242 races,” The New York Times, November 9, 1983
  3. Port Conway Lane” profile, Equibase